Female High School Falconer Contributing to Saga Raven Removal

Female High School Falconer Contributing to Saga Raven Removal
Yomiuri Shimbun: 女子高生鷹匠、カラス駆除に乗り出す
April 9, 2012

Saga Prefecture Takeo High School Senior Misato Ishibashi (17) and her father Hidetoshi (45), who are both falconers, are leading their falcons and horned owls in an effort to scare off the crows living in the prefecture’s forests.

According to the prefecture’s Agricultural Support Division, crows caused an estimated ¥66 million ($809,000) in damages to its oranges, pears, beans, wheat, and other crops in 2010. Crows can fly 10-20 kilometers at a time, and they are plundering crops more than city garbage. The prefecture is making an effort to introduce falcons and horned owls, which frighten crows, inside its cities in order to scare the crows into the mountains, where they can eat the fruit that grows naturally in the trees there.

In recent years, the father-daughter team has also received calls from the prefecture to chase crows from the Saga Castle Park, where the crows’ droppings and cries were disturbing residents.

In order to frighten the crows today, Misato set loose a Harris Hawk named Momotarō (Peach Boy), and Hidetoshi walked around with a Eurasian Eagle-Owl on his arm. Hidetoshi also suggested, “Wouldn’t it be even more effective if we set Momotarō loose from the top floor of the new prefectural administration building (which is 11 stories high) so he could have a downward angle on the crows?”

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